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Army to protect mukula tree

MUKULA logs

STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
The Zambia Army could soon join the fight against the illegal harvesting and export of the endangered mukula tree, Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone has said.
Mr Sichone announced yesterday President Lungu would soon issue the directive to the military wing.
He said this after submitting a quarterly report for Muchinga Province to the President at State House in Lusaka.
Luapula and Northern provinces also presented their progress reports.
“The President is concerned with the continued illegal harvesting of the mukula tree. He says he will soon issue an order to enable the major security wings to join in the fight,” Mr Sichone said.
The mukula tree has been a target for illegal harvesting in almost all parts of the country’s 10 provinces because of its high value on the international market.
Despite the arrest of scores of people and seizure of dozens of trucks laden with the precious natural resource, its illegal harvest and transportation are still rampant.
Mr Sichone said President Lungu is also disheartened by early marriages in Muchinga Province.
“Children are falling pregnant and the President is not amused with this. He wants it tackled soonest,” Mr Sichone said.
Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa said after presenting his report that President Lungu is “pleased with the progress the province has made in terms of development”.
Mr Chilangwa said the President wants the fish and forestry industries to be fully exploited.
“The President is concerned that despite having a lot of water bodies, fish is scarce, so we intend to increase the period of closure of fishing [fish ban] from three months so that we can have more fish,” he said.
Northern Province Minister Brian Mundubile said President Lungu wants to revamp the Kasaba Bay resort to boost tourism.
Mr Mundubile said plans are also under way to modernise Mpulungu Harbour and transform it into a key exit port to the Great Lakes Region.
“We are planning for investment. We want to revamp the resort at Kasaba Bay and this way we will have the much-needed revenue,” Mr Mundubile said.

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